Monday, April 28, 2008

Negative Aspect of Education

There is absolutely no denying the fact that education is a great leveller and gives immense opportunities for a person along with wider choice to choose from, in his/her life. But as with everything else, education has a negative aspect which is completely neglected.

Last friday I attended a meeting organised by the southern centre of Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) at Bengaluru. Various scholars and researchers from across south India attended the meeting to discuss traditions that are fast disappearing. I went there with R.G. Singh who gave a presentation on the 'Traditional Board Games of India'. This meeting was an eye-opener regarding the negative aspect of the present education system as practised in India (which is an hangover from our colonial past where British wanted to create a class of white-collared indentured labourers to serve their mighty empire and rip India off its riches accumulated in the primarily agrarian society).

The tradition of chanting Jaimineeya Samaveda in a remote corner of Kerala is virtually dead with only three men, in their eighties, having the knowledge of entire text and no youngster is interested to learn. Among 70 families in a hamlet of Andhra Pradesh, only three remain who can recite 20 different variations of Telugu Mahabharata. These oral traditions involve learning thousands of verses by heart along with unique way of rendition. This means that children have to learn these daily from an early age.

Nowadays children are sent to schools to be formally educated which does not allow them time to learn their hereditary traditions like chanting, recitation etc. Once children are educated they are no longer interested in learning the traditional chantings and rather work as either an engineer or doctor and earn loads of money.

The current schooling system is single dimensional in its approach and does not make room for the multi cultural and multi traditional backgrounds from which students hail from. It is wiping clean the rich, innate, culture-scapes and tradition-scapes from each student and etching common and mundane things in the name of education.

Thousands of years of ancient knowledge systems are being wiped off with a stroke of common education system. Unless checked in time, this will render our society shallow and heartless.

Monday, April 07, 2008

List of my favourite food

This is a list of all delicacies that I liked along with places where I found them best. This is not a one time entry. I will keep coming back and update it or else there will be add-on posts to this some time in future. Don't blame me if you start drooling, here I go...

Masala Dosa with Benne and Saagu at Mylari Hotel, Nazarbad, Mysuru
Idli Chutney and Masala Dosa at Gayatri Tiffin Room (GTR), Chamundipuram, Mysuru
Idli Chutney at Hotel Harihara, Agrahara Circle, Mysuru
Prawn Soup at Hotel Regaalis, Mysuru (Mysore)
Pineapple Pastries at Hotel Regaalis, Mysuru
Mutton Biriyani at Sri Kanteerava Narasimharaja Sports Club, Mysuru
Mutton Shorba at Hyd Mahal, Church Street, Bengaluru (Bangalore) (This restaurant is closed)
Upma or Uppittu or Kharabhath at Vasudeva Adiga's, KG Road, Bengaluru
Fish fry at the restaurant next to Hotel Rivera, Poonamalee High Road, Chennai (This restaurant is closed)
Button Idli in a bowl of Sambar at Hotel Saravana Bhavan, Chennai
Khichdi at Surti, Kalbadevi, Mumbai
Pomegranate juice at a shop in Chandni Chowk, Delhi
Bhindi Fry at Quality Inn Hotel, Nampalli, Hyderabad
Pongal at Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple, Srirangapatna (prasada given during festivals)
Curd Rice at Hotel Saiba, off Station Road, Kolhapur
Cheese Chutney at Julie and Vivek Cariappa's farm house, near Sargur
Bitter Lime Pickle at Surya Condiments, Chamundipuram circle, Mysuru
Strong Kaapi (Coffee) at Hotel Mysore Refreshments, Near Zoo, Mysuru
Kundapura Masala Fish, a restaurant by the highway, Kundapura
Chicken Kalmi Kebab at Chirag Restaurant, Ittigegud, Mysuru (This restaurant is closed)
Hyderabadi Biriyani, at Hotel International, near GPO, Hyderabad
Vegetarian Meals (Maharashtrian Thali) at Durvankur, Tilak Road, Pune

'Yugadi' if you please...

It is disappointing to see 'Yugadi' being spelt as 'Ugadi' in majority of English print and electronic media. Not only advertisements but also headlines spell it as 'Ugadi' with elan.

The word Yugadi is made of two Sanskrit words 'Yuga' meaning year and 'Adi' meaning beginning (yugasya adi = yugadi, beginning of the year). In Roman script the former word is always written as 'Yuga' not 'Uga'. If it is so then why would one write the word in question as Ugadi when it is an extension of Yuga?

If one still insists on sticking with 'Ugadi' then 'Yoga' will be 'Oga', or 'Yahoo' should be 'Ahoo' or better still 'You' should be 'Ou'.

In a similar situation about a name being written wrongly in Kannada, I told a former editor of a widely read Kannada newspaper about it. A few days later, after consulting a couple of linguists, he told that the popular usage is alright even if it is lexicologically wrong. I was flummoxed. It is the case of a lie turning into truth when told over and over again.

Now, do 'ou' want to correct the mistake or commit it time and again until it becomes the norm? As the Kannada saying goes, raayara kudure katte aagutta? Will the king's horse turn into a donkey? 'Ou' decide.